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Paris Olympics: What to Expect From Each Celtic

Jayson Tatum, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday are all part of Team USA.

Olympic Basketball is almost upon us with exhibition games starting this week and official games tipping off on July 27th. Team USA has a loaded roster and is considered the clear favorite. Their first official game will be July 28th when they take on Nikola Jokic and Serbia. With Derrick White replacing Kawhi Leonard Team USA now features three Celtics players, Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday are the other two. Let’s dive into each player’s role and impact on the team.

Paris Olympics: What to Expect From Each Celtic

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum is one of the top players on the roster and thus will play a crucial role. He is fresh off his third straight first-team All-NBA selection and his first NBA championship. This past season Tatum posted averages of 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists on .471/.376/.833 shooting splits. Crucially, in the playoffs, Tatum proved he can impact the game in a multitude of ways even when his shot isn’t falling. Tatum’s abilities as a rebounder, playmaker, and versatile defender will be equally important to his scoring.

Notably, Tatum was an important part of the 2020 Olympic team (played in 2021) he was the team’s second-leading scorer averaging 15.2 points. However, with a much more talented team this time Tatum’s all-around play will be his biggest asset. It’s unclear if Tatum will start due to the veteran forwards on the team headlined by LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Regardless he will be an integral part of the team due to his well-rounded skill set.  

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday is the perfect Olympic player. Holiday does all the little things right and is willing to take a lesser role for the betterment of the team. He is one of the best defenders in the league and a high-level spot three-point shooter. This skill set will be extremely valuable as it will allow Holiday to play with any lineup combination.

Furthermore, the team lacks perimeter defenders, making Holiday even more valuable. Notably, Holiday was also a member of the 2020 Olympic team. Holiday led the team in assists (3.8) while being third on the team in scoring and rebounding (11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds). Ultimately, Holiday’s all-around skill set as a defender, shooter, rebounder, and connective playmaker will earn him to get more minutes than many are expecting. 

Derrick White

After Derrick White was named a replacement for Kawhi Leonard many were wondering if his teammate Jaylen Brown was more deserving of this spot. Brown won both Finals MVP and Eastern Conference Finals MVP. Additionally, he is one of the most talented two-way wings making him a logical replacement for Leonard. Brown is clearly more talented than White and would be a natural replacement for Leonard. However, it appears Team USA was looking for an elite role player to round out the roster.

Similar to Holiday, White is ideal for this talented roster as he’s familiar with sacrificing his role in favor of team success. White has a similar skill set to Holiday as an elite defender and spot-up shooter. Which allows him to fit with any lineup. However, White is less likely to get significant minutes. This is in part due to his overlapping skill set with Holiday and also the number of elite guards including Steph Curry, Anthony Edwards, and Devin Booker.

White could be utilized in certain situations especially when the team needs some extra perimeter defense. While White will have one of the lesser roles on the team and is perhaps the 12th man he is still valuable to the team as a complementary player who perfectly rounds out the roster.



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